Sport may shrink in significance in these unprecedented times but the sight of empty stadiums and speculation over the fate of previously ‘untouchable’ events as the Olympic Games and European Championships hammer home just how serious things have become.
Gareth Thomas had to stop and gather himself more than once today. His voice faltered. It choked with emotion. Who knows how many times his nerves were betrayed by an subconscious impulse to tug at his right ear?
More needs to be done to make sport more inclusive for minorities, the economically disadvantaged, and people with disabilities, according to the chief executive of the organisation that represents Ireland’s sporting governing bodies.
Mary O’Connor is chief executive of the Federation of Irish Sport. She is a former acting chief executive of the Camogie Association, holds 12 All-Ireland medals in camogie and ladies football, and is a driving force behind the 20x20 initiative.
Paul and Gary O’Donovan’s bid to win another Olympic rowing medal, in Tokyo in 2020, is being jeopardised by a shortage in funding that has left the Skibbereen pair making do with a four-year old boat.